How do you handle "truth tellers" in a nursing home?

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While I can change the subject with my mom, other patients there tell the truth.
When my 94 year old mother says she's going home, I can change the subject or just tell her I don't know yet but some of the patients at the nursing home will tell her that they are going to die there, they are not getting out ever. What do you do? I am not there all the time so I can't keep her from talking to people. She has dementia and does not remember a lot of things but sometimes when I go to visit she is sure she is going home that day and maybe it is coming from other residents since I heard one telling her that she would die there and told an other patient that she wasn't going home either.

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Sorry to tell you this, but i didn't put my mom in a nursing home to die. We placed her there on medical advice because she needs nursing care. I'm a psychologist andy brothers are botb engineers. Not sure what part of "we are not nurses" aome people don't get.

Often, when dementia patients seek to go home, they are seeking a time and place before they were ill. Because of their cognitive limitations, they often don't understand that it's not safe for them to be unsupervised.

If your mom is sad, upset or agitated frequently, that is a symptom that should be discusaed with a doctor.
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When I used to visit the nursing home it struck me how much the dynamics between the residents resembled the schoolyard, cliques, bullies and all. I guess dementia and proximity combine to toss social filters out the window. You can't protect your elders or your kids from hurtful comments when you aren't there, but you can reassure them they are loved and cared for. And I agree that "home" is often symbolic of the sense of control and normalcy that they have lost, not necessarily a physical place.
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I know when we placed my father in a NH; at that moment I did not think "he is being put here to die".........never crossed my mind. He needed care that my mother could no longer give nor could we quit our jobs to do the 24/7 care. Yes there are some at my fathers NH that say' you are never going home" this is where you will be. but you know, i just explain that for now this is where he has to stay cause their home is not equipped for a wheelchair. Like someone else said, this is a temporary home until the Lord calls for them (or whatever your belief is).... but I, nor my mother/brother ever thought "lets put him there so he can die".............
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Well, they are telling the truth: She IS going to die there. Bottom line with all of these elder people their kids put them in there to die. You can't gag other people. I would just tell her that the nursing home IS her home, where she is going to live for the rest of her life. What else can you do.
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We had this occur also, my DDMIL had vascular dementia which had turned her personality positive. She had always been a negative sort before dementia. When we moved her into a nursing home she was delighted with everything. The food, the people, her room. The regular residents who befriended her sort of clued her in that all was not wonderful. She became part of their community and I think, in the end, that was more important. While those residents tended to complain, so she complained, she became close with them quickly. I think the residents that do better are those able to make friends quickly, it's a situation that calls for quick, sometimes sadly short, friendships.
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Babalou made ME feel better! It makes sense to me (not a nurse or doctor) that those desirous of 'home', want something more than a building at a particular address. It sounds like you are taking kind and loving care of your mother. I wish I had a brilliant idea to keep her from hearing upsetting statements.
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I think honesty is important. I believe patients can have unpredictable moments of lucidity, and treating them with respect as adults under supervisory care is needed. They have a right to understand WHY they are in a facility to the bed of their ability. Your counter conversation to this is about safety, needed care or therapy, and this placement is for her benefit. It is not a dumping ground. It is not necessarily forever. Hospice provisions may include a return to the family home at some point when this placement is no longer effective. The important thing foe a senior to understand is that they are valued, they are not being abandoned, and their needs are not being ignored. Your care decisions are first and foremost about proper supervision and quality of life.
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I can only share what I saw Tuesday. I got mom (with dementia) dressed and went to my husbands business as they were having a special meal that day of corned beef and cabbage. We all love that and I thought it would be a change to take mom out. She loved the meal and ate almost all of it, when she notices the visitor tags we had on. She started to cry and said this is an institution and you are going to leave me here. I smiled and said we were not, we had just came for lunch. We went to the bathroom afterwards and the hall is kinda sterile and she got to the bathroom and was shaking, she said she was scared. She begged, please don't leave me, I want to live with you. I kept assuring her we weren't leaving her. As we walked outside and she saw the car, she was so happy. She was very quiet in the car and took a long nap when we got home . I have been taking care of her for six years. Life isn't always good as the hallucinations and wanting to go back to her childhood home and her parents are on her mind a lot. But even though she doesn't always know who I am, her daughter, I do love her and just could never leave her as she is so vulnerable and frail at 95. I do have a wonderful friend who is a caregiver and stays with her when my husband and I spend a few days away. Glad I haven't had to use a facility and hope I never do.
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Hm.

Rimrock, if your mother is being upset by particular residents, you can discuss that with the staff and ask how they manage inter-resident relationships. It could be that there is some wriggle room in terms of who she shares communal areas with, for example. But the actual topics of conversation aren't really something that anybody can control - the only certain answer would be to prevent her from socialising at all, which I assume you wouldn't want. The rest of it, I'm afraid, is just part of dementia territory: from time to time your mother will hear upsetting nonsense from other people, but then again she may also dish it out. Not much you can do except offer continuity and reassurance in her life, as you are doing. I'm sorry for it.
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PS - don't speak critically about other residents to your mother. It really won't help her if she starts seeing any of them as hostile or as liars when in reality… they have dementia, just like her.
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